I have a few questions about the impact of a casino in our community. Why is the state getting 25 percent of anything? What does the state risk? If the Senecas start buying up property in the county with their profits from the casino, and the tax base shrinks, who loses? Not the state. The local and county taxpayers will, when taxes are raised to make up for the shrinking amount of taxable property. The Oneidas have already done this in Oneida and Madison counties.
Does anyone else feel that too many people involved in this process didn't know what they were doing? Or that they rushed this through because the governor knew he was weak when it came to upstate economic development?
What happens if the Senecas buy land next to the casino and open clothing, jewelry and other stores? I assume goods in these stores will be sold without state and local tax. What if the Senecas decide to buy apartment buildings? Does the county executive have any idea how much tax revenue the county could lose? How much will my county taxes have to rise to make up for it? How will other non-Native American stores compete with businesses that can sell tax-free items?
These are just some of the questions the media must raise. In many ways, this issue is the "UB in Amherst" of our generation. Our children will wonder how we could have missed the obvious. Maybe there is nothing to worry about and everything will work out fine. I wouldn't bet on it, though.